Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Benjamin's Birth Story

Okay, it's been a long time in coming, but I've finally found the time to sit down and write Benjamin's birth story.

Once upon a time.....

Just kidding, it wasn't quite that romantic of a story!  As a matter of fact, nothing quite went as planned.

October 19th
4:30 am - I went into labor, one day before my due date.  The beginning stages were very mild, so mild I wasn't exactly sure if it was the real thing.

5:30 am - I woke Matthew up and informed him that today was the day!  We talked and chatted and had trouble falling back asleep, but we eventually did.

7:00 - We called my family to let them know.  It was my parents anniversary, so they were excited that baby Dickerson would probably arrive on their special day!  We also called the midwife just to give her a heads up.

8:30 - The contractions finally got to where I could actually count them as Matthew headed off to work and continued to build until around noon, at which point I had to stop what I was doing every time a contraction came, but it still wasn't that bad.

12:30 - My mom decided to come over and spend the afternoon with me, so we ate, talked, played games and counted through the growing contractions.  My contractions were lengthy, but very sporadic.  They would come 3 minutes apart and then 8 minutes apart, and then back to 3 and then jump to 11 minutes, but they all lasted at least 1 1/2 minutes in length up to almost 3 minutes.  So we went throughout the day charting the contractions with no real progression, other than they were getting more painful.
4:30 - When Matthew got home from work, my contractions became a bit more steady (my midwife said that my hormones were simply waiting for him to get there ;-).  But by dinner time, my contractions still weren't coming in any sort of pattern.

6:00 - My family brought dinner over and ate with us, and we watched the debate that night while making it through worsening contractions.

10:30 - My family headed back home, but Mom stayed the night with us to help if needed.  I tried sleeping, but only got a half hour in since the contractions were too painful.  Matthew stayed up with me and serenaded me with his guitar in-between contractions.
October 20th
2:30ish am - Mom woke up and watched a movie with me while Matthew headed to bed to get some rest.  The contractions were pretty painful at this point.

7:00 - We decided to call the midwife to have her check me to see where I was at.  I showered and ate breakfast that Mom had made.  Mom then headed back home to make cheese.

11:00ish - The midwife showed up and I was at 4 cm.  Matthew and I made the decision to continue laboring alone while the midwives spent some time in town.  Our hopes were that with just the two of us there, my hormones would kick into gear and do what they needed to do to jumpstart this labor.

12:30 - Still no consistency to my contractions, but they were hard now to cope with at this point.  The midwives came back to check me and I was at 6 cm.  The doula worked her magic and helped me through the contractions from this point and provided a great amount of relief to my back.
2:00pm - Our air conditioning went out, so my mom came back over and brought their temporary window unit.  Contractions still sporadic but lasting 2-4 minutes each.

6:00pm - Still at 6 cm.  Tried different positions and techniques to no avail.

10:30 pm - My midwife advised us to transport in to the hospital before I reached maternal exhaustion.  I had been against a hospital birth the whole way through my pregnancy, but with the advice from Matthew, the midwives, and my mom, we decided to head in.
October 21st
12:00am (midnight) - We showed up at the hospital and they took us right in.  They got me settled in and let almost my whole birth team come in the room with me: Matthew (of course), mom, my midwife, and her assistant/doula.  My other doula had to head back home, but she said she'd be praying for me.
NOTE: As for the rest of this, I have no clue what time any of this happened.  I was only partway with it at this point and so everything was a little blurry.
I was still at 6 cm when I arrived at the hospital.
The doctor broke my water, anticipating that it would start to help with dilation.
The anesthesiologist came to inform me about epidurals, which I flatly refused, stating that I was going to do this naturally.
The doctor checked me about 1 1/2 hours later and I was still at 6 cm.
My family showed up at the hospital to wait for Baby's birth.
The doctor suggested that I be induced with pitocin, hoping that maybe that would help me to dilate.  We spoke with our midwife who agreed that that is what I should do since I hadn't progressed at all.  So we agreed to go ahead with the pitocin.

A little while later, my midwife came over and suggested that I get an epidural since the pitocin was going to make my already very painful contractions "longer, harder, stronger".  I was completely against it, but she gently informed me that if I didn't this was probably going to turn into a c-section.  So tearily I agreed to go ahead with the epidural.  (My mom had a very scary experience when she was in labor with my younger sister, so that forever scared any of us kids from "willingly" having epidurals.)
The epidural took effect right away, allowing me some much needed relief.  I was able to sleep for the first time in 2 1/2 days and build a little of my strength back up.  When I woke up they were ready for me to start pushing.  I pushed for 5 hours, some with the nurse, some with my midwife, and the final bit with the doctor.
At this point I was just about ready to give up and ask for a c-section.  I was completely exhausted from the whole ordeal and the amount of pushing.  The staff kept telling me I was so close, just a few more good pushes....for like an hour and a half.  I stopped believing them.
My mom came over to help me push and encouraging me that I was close.  I cried saying, "They keep saying that but it's not true.  Baby is not coming.  They've been telling me that for forever!"  She just kept encouraging me and telling me when to push.
Finally the doctor got his scrubs on and we realized that it was the real deal this time.  Matthew came up by mom to help me push since my strength was not really there like it should have been.  He kept whispering to me that I was "doing good" and "our baby would be here soon".  Between him and mom and lots of prayer, they helped push me through that last little bit and I was able to watch our baby come into this world.
As soon as he was in my arms, the relief was amazing.  Matthew told me with tears in his eyes that we had a son, and (almost) all the previous agony was forgotten.  We ooohd and aahhed over him and Matthew announced his name:
Benjamin James Dickerson
Matthew wrote this!

Matthew actually had a low blood sugar attack right after I gave birth and had to lay down and drink some juice to get back on his feet.  He hadn't eaten any breakfast, and had been worrying about me the whole time and it was just too much.  My mom helped him till he was feeling okay and was able to go out to announce to my family that we had had a son.

We were so thankful for our little guy and we were so thankful that the whole 52 1/2 hour ordeal was over!!!  My family came in to meet little Ben and we called Matthew's folks as well as our siblings.  We were praising the Lord that he had helped us through it and kept us all safe.  Through the whole labor, Benjamin's little heart rate stayed even keel.  He was in no distress at all, praise the Lord!  We spent the night in the hospital and came home the next evening.

I later asked my midwife why it took so long.  She had several reasons...
1. I had entered 6 cm arrest and wouldn't progress any further.
2. Benjamin was in a posterior position, putting me into posterior arrest.
3.Benjamin's head was deflexed, meaning not completely tucked down.
4. Benjamin's head was stuck on my pubic bone.
We are praying that our next birth story will go a lot smoother and be able to be a home birth, but we are also praising God for the hospital for the situations like ours when you need them.  God blessed us with our precious little one and we are so grateful!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Matthew's Birthday!!!

My sweetheart husband turns 26 years old today!

Words can't describe the love I have in my heart for this man.  He is so loving, caring, and tender towards me that it amazes me.  He takes such good care of me and now Benjamin as well.  I love watching him be a daddy.  Matthew is hardworking and loves to be doing something.  And he is pretty much the most talented guy I know.  He's better than the man of my dreams because there's no way I could've dreamt up someone so wonderful!

I'm blessed to call this man my husband and I'm looking forward to celebrating many more wonderful birthdays with him in the future!  Happy birthday, babe!  I love you!

Matthew, with his cheesy brothers!

My babe and my baby! ;-)

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Ethan's Birthday!!!

Today Ethan turned 18!!!!

It's hard to believe my little (or not-so little) brothers are 18 and 16!  Where does the time go?  I remember when they were born and it doesn't feel like that long ago.  Now they are handsome, strapping young men!

 Ethan is a hardworking, entrepreneurial-minded, friendly young man!  He is a wonderful organizer, both with things and people, and is well liked by everyone who meets him.  He is confidant and a natural born leader.

We love you, Ethan, and are so thankful that the 
Lord gave us you 18 years ago!  What a blessing!
Happy birthday!

Monday, November 7, 2016

It's a ........Baby!!!!!


Benjamin James Dickerson
born on October 21st, 2016
at 4:23 p.m.

Weight: 7 lbs. 3.8 oz.
Length: 20 1/2 inches

We are praising God for this precious little bundle!
We love this fella dearly!

Birth story coming soon, so stay tuned! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Mom and Dad's Anniversary

Today, my sweet parents are celebrating their 31st wedding anniversary!

They have blessed our family with a legacy of love, of commitment, of sharing and caring through the good times and the bad.  They are a beautiful representation of what a godly marriage should look like.  They have never let divorce become an "option" word in the marriage or in their thoughts.  They have prayed for the marriages of all of their children from the time of our births, asking God to bless us with godly spouses who will serve Him.  They are a wonderful example and I'm so thankful that the Lord blessed us with them as our parents.

Happy Anniversary Dad & Mom!  We love you both soooooo much!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Nature's Beauty...

Matthew recently took this picture of our farm early one morning just as the sun was cresting the tree line.  There is such beauty in the foggy morning sunrise.  How blessed we are to be able to enjoy such beauty right here on our property!  

 "From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord's name is to be praised."
Psalm 113:3

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Karate Boys

Ethan and Noah, along with 3 of their friends, have recently taken up Karate classes.  And they are loving it!

They come home from each class with new techniques to show us and funny stories to tell.

Our whole family decided to attend one of their bi-weekly classes to see the action for ourselves.  They were pretty impressive!

There teacher is a Christian gentleman who is interested in teaching the techniques of karate without all of the "spiritual" aspects, so we appreciate that.  

It's also a good form of exercise and balance practice!

It's nice that they have their friends to do it with them.  They are all really getting into it with the kicks, punches, sparing gear, belts and stripes.  Hopefully they'll never have the need to use it in real life, but if they do, watch out for the Kung Fu Hammonds! ;-)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

One Whole Year of Marriage!!!

Matthew and I just recently celebrated our one year anniversary!  Wow!  It's hard to believe it's already been that long.  Time sure has flown.

I love Matthew more now than the day that we got married.  It's amazing how love grows.  He's my dream come true, my sweetheart, my best friend.  I thank the Lord for blessing me with such a godly man.

For our anniversary, Matthew took me out to a friend's vacation house on the lake for a few days.  It was a lovely cabin, beautifully furnished and it literally sat about 6 feet off of the lake, with a huge front porch spanning the cabin to enjoy the private view.  We were so blessed to be able to stay there and enjoy our get-away time together.   

We knew that with me being so far along in my pregnancy we'd have to scale back on some of our favorite activities, like hiking or jet skiing, ;-) but we had a lot of fun challenging each other in bowling and mini-golf, along with going to the movies and out to eat.

He took me out on the lake in the little row boat, but the funny thing about this boat is that it had no oars!  So he graciously rowed me around with a shovel that he found!!!  Oh, the joy of being creative!

On the last night, my family came over to share dinner with us, play games, sing, chat and simply enjoy the beauty of the lake. 

 We had a lot of fun reminiscing about our wedding and the wonderful year we've had.  We are looking forward to many, many more blessed years of marriage together!